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"I don't think the report is true, but these crises work for those who want to make fights between people." Kulam Dastagir, 28, a bird seller in Afghanistan

program.362841.MP3-STD : C-SPAN : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive
Topic: Miscellaneous 7:10 pm EDT, Sep  5, 2014

I posted audio of the ACLU vs. Clapper hearing to the Internet Archive.

Audio recording of Oral Arguments at the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City in the case ACLU vs. Clapper, recorded by 
C-SPAN on September 2nd, 2014. 

program.362841.MP3-STD : C-SPAN : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive


The mass domestic surveillance program was not kept secret to protect sources and methods.
Topic: Miscellaneous 9:59 am EDT, Sep  5, 2014

Sometimes I feel like its necessary to burn down a straw man, because so many people seem to be propping him up.

Fans of the mass domestic telephony metadata surveillance program operated by the NSA would have us believe three things simultaneously.

1. The program is perfectly legal.
2. The program was publicly disclosed in the pages of the USA Today in 2006, so everyone knew about it and everyone agreed that it was legal.
3. The program had to be sheltered from judicial review in order to prevent Al Qaeda from finding out about it.

As ridiculous as this narrative is, there seems to be an awful lot of people who believe it.

Lets review the actual history of what happened here.

These programs were started during the early years of the Bush Administration, in a context where a lot of other things were going on, including mass monitoring of domestic telecommunications content (at least at the 2001 Winter Olympic Games), the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens without charges (see Jose Padilla), and the elimination of the restrictions on torture.

Its not as if Congress passed the Patriot Act with the intention of authorizing a program like this. The legal rationale for the mass meta-data surveillance program, at the outset, had nothing to do with Section 215 of the Patriot Act. The legal rationale was that the President, acting under his Article II authority to defend the security of the United States, cannot be constrained the other two branches of the federal government.

Over hundreds of years our society has accumulated a number of constraints upon executive power, such as the Writ of Habeas Corpus, the Fourth Amendment, and Geneva Conventions. We accumulated these constraints because we learned the hard way that if they are not in place, people do bad things. In fact, when the Bush Administration removed these constraints, bad things happened. Those bad things were an inevitable and predictable consequence of the kind of leadership that they engaged in.

After Bush was re-relected, someone leaked word of this mass meta-data surveillance program to the USA Today, and a fight ensued between Dick Cheney, who argued that the President can do whatever he wants under Article II of the Constitution, and Arlen Specter, who tried to negotiate review of these programs by the FISA court. In the end Mr. Specter won.

This is when I did something that over the past year fans of the mass surveillance program have repeatedly ridiculed me for doing - I gave our system the benefit of the doubt.

The IC said that they couldn't submit these programs to open judicial review in order to protect sources and methods, so there had to be a secret court. I trusted that the secret court would not approve aspects o... [ Read More (0.4k in body) ]


Anne Neuberger: Inside the NSA - The Long Now
Topic: Miscellaneous 10:09 pm EDT, Sep  4, 2014

The NSA, Neuberger said, has suffered a particularly “long and challenging year” dealing with the public loss of trust following the Snowden revelations. The agency is reviewing all of its activities to determine how to regain that trust. One change is more open engagement with the public. “This presentation is a starting point."

Anne Neuberger: Inside the NSA - The Long Now


ACLU v Clapper Oral Argument Phone Record | Video | C-SPAN.org
Topic: Miscellaneous 12:28 pm EDT, Sep  3, 2014

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City heard oral argument in ACLU v. Clapper, which challenged the National Security Agency’s (NSA) phone records surveillance program.

ACLU v Clapper Oral Argument Phone Record | Video | C-SPAN.org


You Are Not Late — The Message — Medium
Topic: Miscellaneous 10:57 am EDT, Sep  3, 2014

Kevin Kelly:

If we could climb into a time machine and journey 30 years into the future, and from that vantage look back to today, we’d realize that most of the greatest products running the lives of citizens in 2044 were not invented until after 2014.

You Are Not Late — The Message — Medium


We Must Secure America’s Cell Networks—From Criminals and Cops | Opinion | WIRED
Topic: Miscellaneous 11:43 pm EDT, Sep  1, 2014

Given the serious cyber threats our country faces, the surveillance benefits realized by law enforcement through the use of IMSI catchers can no longer justify ignoring the cyber security weaknesses in our communications networks that enable their operation. Indeed, policymakers should take a dim view of any aspects of national surveillance policy and practice that rely upon perpetual network vulnerabilities.

We Must Secure America’s Cell Networks—From Criminals and Cops | Opinion | WIRED


FISC OKs Section 215 Investigations of Americans, Despite First Amendment | Just Security
Topic: Miscellaneous 9:08 am EDT, Aug 29, 2014

For people who were reassured that section 215’s language would protect law abiding Americans from getting sucked into counterterrorism investigations, this is another tchotchke for your Curio Cabinet of Naïveté. But the FISC, to its credit, declassified this opinion and now Congress and the public have a chance to understand what “law” is actually being applied.

FISC OKs Section 215 Investigations of Americans, Despite First Amendment | Just Security


R.E.M. - Uberlin [Official Lyrics] - YouTube
Topic: Miscellaneous 10:35 pm EDT, Aug 28, 2014

...

R.E.M. - Uberlin [Official Lyrics] - YouTube


Lawfare › Yeah, But Is It a Good Bill? Thoughts on the Leahy FISA Reform Proposal
Topic: Miscellaneous 3:35 pm EDT, Jul 31, 2014

The positive side of the bill has several important elements we can sum up with the words “institutionalization” and “legitimization.”

Whether thats positive or not certainly depends on your perspective.

Lawfare › Yeah, But Is It a Good Bill? Thoughts on the Leahy FISA Reform Proposal


Lawfare › Who Is Saying What About the Leahy Surveillance Bill
Topic: Miscellaneous 3:31 pm EDT, Jul 31, 2014

The bill, negotiated during two months with extensive input from the intelligence community, and civil society, is a true compromise and a crucial step in the right direction.

Lawfare › Who Is Saying What About the Leahy Surveillance Bill


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